01/12/2021 ‘A space for us’ in Somers Town is a living memory project

‘A space for us’ in Somers Town is a living memory project

People visit the Somers Town History Club to discuss art, historic publications and photographs – and share their own stories

‘A space for us’ is a living memory project that not only celebrates local heritage and history, but also benefits the local community through education and arts. It was founded by Diana Foster, director of the Somers Town History Club and founder of the Somers Town Museum. Diana wanted to create a space for people to come together and share narratives of life, place and the past. Through workshops, campaigns, walks and talks, members could come together to discuss art, historic publications and photographs – but most importantly, they could share their own stories. 

The club has been very successful and has been helping its attendees for years. These tend to be older people, typically those suffering with loneliness or dementia. For many people in these situations, a warm welcome and kind encouragement is the best remedy. ‘A space for us’ allows people to explore what is important to them and gives them the opportunity to share this with others – something also at the core of social prescribing. 

Diana’s vision was to offer people opportunities not just activities, to help them feel a sense of purpose and to build a network whilst also allowing them to participate in something they feel passionately about. The outcome was the inception of a club built entirely out of the skill, dedication and knowledge of its participants. 

Stories of Somers Town 

George joined ‘A space for us’ shortly after suffering a personal loss, and the history club helped him to deal with his grief through sharing his memories and knowledge of Somers Town with others. His experience and enthusiasm have since attracted others to the club, while also provoking interest and spreading awareness among younger generations. George took part in many of the club’s public engagement events, including through media and film. You can watch one of his short videos below. 

Heather Allen, a social prescribing link worker, explains why people are referred to the club: “People share stories with me of their lives and they just want to be heard. Some want to volunteer and make a difference, some would like the opportunity to be more creative, improve their physical fitness, connect with nature, preserve their community or reignite the lost artiste inside themselves.   The History Club is an amazing place to explore this, bringing people together across generations sharing their stories”. 

Somers Town Museum is an excellent example of social prescribing through heritage and history – allowing people to connect with each other and with the places that matter to them. 

Find out more about the brilliant work at ‘A space for us’ History Club here. 

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